NCAR Public Outreach Events
Both UCAR and NCAR are committed to creating, catalyzing, and supporting world-class science education programs, research and communities. The UCAR Office of Education and Outreach is one of the divisions within the organization entirely committed to fulfilling this responsibility. Listed below are many of the off-site outreach events that we are involved in on an ongoing bases to enhance scientific understanding and support education and training with learners of all ages.
The Wonders of Science at Twenty Ninth Street Mall
A collection of permanent exhibits developed by seven local research laboratories highlight the importance of science to the greater Boulder area at the city's newest retail center, Twenty Ninth Street.
Labs participating in addition to NCAR include the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Joint Institute for Laboratory Astrophysics (JILA), Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP), National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and the Space Sciences Institute.
Throughout the year, these seven science organizations sponsor public talks designed for families and host an annual Wonder of Science Saturday outreach event.
Teacher Professional Development
The Office of Education and Outreach hosts numerous local and national teacher professional development workshops each year, including a series of interactive online courses on Earth and atmospheric science topics that incorporate state-of-the-art research, multimedia resources, and classroom-tested inquiry activities aligned with science content standards. Workshops are frequently offered at the National Science Teachers Assoc. regional and national meetings, at the annual MD Anderson Environmental Health Sciences Summer Symposium at the University of Texas, Austin, and at the annual Colorado Assoc. of Science Teachers conference held in Denver. The Office of Education and Outreach has also hosted many professional development workshops for local pre-service teachers and for various science teachers in school districts interested in learning more about climate change, scientific modeling of the Earth system, or any number of other topics spanning weather, climate, and observational systems. Please contact us if interested.
Science Is Everywhere Program
Now in its sixth year, the Science is Everywhere program brings science to life for upper elementary students in the St. Vrain Valley School District's MESA program and for their families as well. Local science organizations provide a Saturday morning of hands-on science learning for the MESA students. A week later, the Science is Everywhere Family Night occurs after public hours at NCAR or Fiske Planetarium. Upon arrival, students are expected to teach their family the same activities that they learned a week earlier. Transportation and dinner are provided, and families have full access to the facility's exhibits and more. Spanish translaters are also provided to ensure that all participants fully participate and enjoy the evening.
(Above) -- NCAR bilingual educator, Kyle Ham, holds the soda can that a MESA student crushed using nothing but air pressure at Science is Everywhere Family Night.
Education and Outreach Exhibit Booth
3D glasses and postcards, Cloudviewers, microburst displays, interactive group games, and demonstrations of atmospheric phenomena — these are but a few of the many enjoyable activities and educational resources available via the UCAR Office of Education and Outreach's exhibit booth. Look for us at local events and national conferences such as the American Association for the Advancement of Science's (AAAS) Family Science Days, Weatherfest at the American Meteorological Society's (AMS) annual conference, and at the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) annual conference.
(Above) -- Susan Foster, deputy director of the UCAR Office of Education
and Outreach, dazzles onlookers at the annual AMS Weatherfest in Phoenix, AZ.